Kuzin (pronoucned “cousin”) is the solo moniker of Jessica Maros, a Los Angeles-based by way of Nashville artist and one half of the critically acclaimed duo Escondido. Her solo debut CAVITY, produced by Bill Reynolds, Grammy-nominated producer and member of Band of Horses, ranges from stripped-down acoustic confessionals to fuzzy, full-band freak-outs.
In a recent feature, blog Lockeland Springsteen described the debut as “fresh, crunchy guitars matched with vocals that are equally informed by Liz Phair, The Breeders, and Stevie Nicks but all her own, slicing through brilliant pop-punk melodies with the deliciously bi-polar vibe of synthy beats and acoustic strums.”
Ghettoblaster recently caught up with Maros to discuss CAVITY, which was released via Kill Canyon on March 3. This is what she said about it.
When did you begin writing the material for Cavity?
I started writing for Cavity after the first Escondido album. My Itunes folder was piling up with all these songs that I had written. I would send song voice memo’s to my friends and they would respond back saying how much they loved hearing me raw with vocals and guitar plus I was going through another rough break up. I guess something always has to be the catalyst for creation.
What was the most difficult song to take from the initial writing stage through recording and mixing? Why was it so troublesome?
‘Cavity’ was a pretty interesting song because it’s based around a drum loop I found on Garageband. When we decided to add live drums to a few songs we tried to add it to that one and it took away the special quality of it. So we kept the loop. It’s funny how songs can be such a mystery sometimes.
Which of the songs on the LP is most different from your original concept for the song?
I’d say they all turned out the way they were written. ‘Dumb Bitch’ got a little more inspiring the more we worked on it. I wanted it to build and build and have this intense moment at the end and Evan my drummer just vibed out and really knocked those drum fills out of the park.
What was it like working with Bill Reynolds? Have you been friends for a while? Are you a Band of Horses fan? Or was this a musical blind date?
I ran into him at a party, we just talked about music the whole time. We became good friends and I would confide musically with him on things. I had all these raw demos and asked him if he was interested in producing the project. I’m a huge fan of Bill and he’s an incredibly talented producer and friend.
Why do a solo record, as opposed to more Escondido? How is this different for you from Escondido? Outside of the fact that Tyler’s not involved?
There are songs that I wrote alone that I didn’t want to be touched. A collaboration is a beauty in itself and Escondido is a 50/50 deal. This project was different. I didn’t want any other opinions but my own. The songs were piling up and I thought this was a good way to face all my fears and write and play on my own record, I have no attachment to it except for the fact that I can say I did it, it’s a chapter in my book. The outcome doesn’t really matter to me. I’m going to be writing songs for life wether through Escondido or Kuzin. I see them as two completely different beasts.
Do you have a tour in the works?
I do!! but it’s a secret. Hopefully you’ll hear about it soon.
(Visit Kuzin here: http://www.kuzinmusic.com/.)